Scott Sajowitz, a Denver transplant moved to Denver just a few years ago. Upon arriving he was struck by the conversation regarding the influx of transplants to Colorado. “Too many times I heard of overcrowded trails, littered campsites, etc.,” Sajowitz said. He wanted to get off of the sidelines and change the dialogue and create a way to get people involved, so he created Wild & Co. — a brand that combines lifestyle and apparel and celebrates the outdoors. Wild & Co. is a brand that wants to promote outdoor exploration. Sajowitz is dedicated to inspiring others to discover nature’s beauty. Not only is he encouraging outdoor exploration but he is also working toward protecting our national parks, forests and wild lands.
303 Magazine: What made you want to have the brand’s home in Denver?
Scott Sajowitz: Denver is well known for its outdoor lifestyle and access to mountains, national parks, etc. It’s also experiencing growing pains in terms of overcrowded trails and general abuse of public lands. Spreading a positive message and educating people on trail stewardship principles couldn’t be more valuable in this area.
303: What was the motivation behind combining both apparel and nature?
SS: One of the main pillars of our brand is to get people involved and educated. But to truly affect change it had to be through a brand that people can relate to and identify with. There are plenty of brands with outdoor gear but we want to give people a chance to also show that they actually care about the outdoors as well. So our apparel line ties artistic high-end designs with fun and cheeky taglines that inspire a proactive message.
303: Your campaign is “Mind the Wild,” how is your campaign intertwined with your apparel?
SS: Our “Mind the Wild” campaign is the rallying cry for our initiative to make a difference in nature. We designed an entire line of shirts that have eco-conscious messaging for people that want a comfy, high-end apparel line to reflect their values. And proceeds of every shirt or hat purchased go directly towards helping fund our trail clean-up events and towards our tree planting initiative through our partnership with the national forest foundation.
303: What are your thoughts on the government shutdown and have there been any challenges in organizing cleanups since the government shutdown?
SS: The government shutdown was a major impact on national parks across the country. Unstaffed parks remained open and were met with a general public that would break rules, go off trail, endanger wildlife, and carelessly leave litter all over the park. Basic services for restrooms and trash pickup were suspended, leading to some very unsightly build ups. We knew this major crisis was something that we had to try and be proactive about. We actually had conversations with many organizations involved with national parks on how best to approach this situation. While there were some people that would travel to these parks to try and help —which is something we wanted to do — we instead took the advice of parks departments and focused on getting the word out to discourage people from traveling to these parks. We did have a large amount of people reach out to us looking for ways to help out and get involved which we are always thrilled to see.
303: How do you plan to combat the negative effects of the shutdown?
SS: While the shutdown has ended for the short term, we will continue to work with parks departments to determine the best way to support them. With the outcry we saw from the shutdown, we think that our brand and message is more important than ever and will give people a way to get involved. It also opened our eyes to the incredible reach we have with our online presence and we have been actively working with more groups —such as the National Parks Conservation Association — on partnerships that would allow us to impact even more projects across the country.
303: What is the best way someone can help support your brand and the message you promote?
SS: We absolutely encourage everyone to come and visit us at festivals and events across Colorado starting this summer. While we are rapidly growing and expanding our apparel in stores across Colorado, you can also always find our latest apparel on our website. And for those that really want to get involved, you can join us at our trail clean-up events that will be taking place in more and more locations across the state. We love meeting fellow nature lovers and we even encourage the most enthusiastic to join our “wild seeker” ambassador program. Information for all of this can be found on our website, and you can follow us on Instagram to always be in the loop on our latest adventures.
303: When do you plan for the next cleanup, and how can someone get involved in that?
SS: Our clean-ups typically run from April-December, and we’ll have an especially cool event planned for Earth Day. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out, meet some cool new friends, win prizes and enjoy the amazing Colorado weather. Follow our Instagram page or sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out as they fill up very fast.
303: What would you like the citizens of Denver to know about what you are doing with your
SS: We are here to promote a positive message. To change the conversation regarding the growing
pains our trails, scenic destinations and national parks are experiencing. Yes, there are problems with over-crowded hikes, littered trails, etc. But this is your chance to take action, spread the message, educate a friend and let people know that not only do we love our mountains and public spaces but we’re here to be part of the solution.
All photography courtesy of Wild & Co.